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Cornered by the Dark: Poems (Paperback)

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Cornered by the Dark is a triumph.” 
—Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

W. H. Auden, Jorge Luis Borges, Howard Thurman, Julia Equivel, Thomas Merton, Langston Hughes, Pedro Pietri and Miguel Piñero, in their work make a connection between poetry, social criticism and the meaning of life together—that is a part of Harold Recinos’ literary labor. His work creates a fusion between the personal and the public in verse that is searching, expansive, and walking hurt streets. Cornered by the Dark is a work about truth-telling and witness-bearing to the marginal men, women, and children who tell their story about a culture of indifference and callousness while finding courage and compassion to hope in everyday life. 

Cornered by the Dark is published under Paraclete Press's Iron Pen imprint. In the book of Job, a suffering man pours out his anguish to his Maker. From the depths of his pain, he reveals a trust in God's goodness that is stronger than his despair, giving humanity some of the most beautiful and poetic verses of all time. Paraclete's Iron Pen imprint is inspired by this spirit of unvarnished honesty and tenacious hope.

About the Author

Harold Recinos is a poet with ten previous collections, and he is also Professor of Church and Society at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, a cultural anthropologist by training. His poetry has been featured in Anglican Theological ReviewWeavingsAnabaptist Witness, and Afro-Hispanic Review, among others. Since the early-1980s, Recinos has worked with and defended the civil and human rights of Salvadoran refugees in the US and in marginal communities in El Salvador.

Praise For…

Praise for Harold Recinos
“His indignation at injustice, his loving attentiveness to the least and lowest remind us that we create better communities, countries, selves by the quality of attention we bring to bear.” —Julia Alvarez

Praise for Cornered by the Dark
“A beautiful, mesmerizing collection. The supremely gifted Recinos is working the height of his formidable powers and Cornered by the Dark is a triumph.” —Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award

Cornered by the Dark is a beautiful and moving collection of poems that provides vigor and rhythmic elegance to a community of migrants who have left behind the world they knew and have arrived in urban United States, surrounded by a strange language, different cultural traditions, and, worst of all, the xenophobia and racism that tragically prevails in this North American nation. It reminds me of the poetics that pervades biblical sacred scriptures; literature that saturates both seductive language and solidarity with the denigrated and misplaced peoples of the earth. In several of these enticing versus the role of the church is significant and crucial, either for either the well-being or the tragic fate of the migrants. Especially attractive and suggestive I find the children in Recinos’ poetics, those boys and girls who face the challenge to creatively survive in a strange, daring and demanding land, a place where many of them are cornered by the dark.” —Luis N. Rivera-Pagán, Henry Winters Luce Professor in Ecumenics Emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary
“Recinos has always been a voice of compassion and orientation, a voice for dignity and justice. It is a voice that I have followed and admired over the decades. That voice reveals more depth and verve than ever in the present collection of poems. Indeed, ‘cornered by the dark’ as we all are in these times of social and cultural upheaval, these poems shed light, much light, much needed light, on a path forward.” —Fernando F. Segovia, Oberlin Graduate Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, Vanderbilt University
“Archbishop Óscar Romero, lamenting government control of the media in El Salvador, preached from the pulpit that “A journalist either speaks the truth or he or she is no longer a journalist.” The same can be said of the poet. Harold Recinos, a worthy upholder of Romero’s legacy, always speaks truth to power. In an age when the media self-censors for profit, and police departments continue to brutalize and execute black and brown bodies with impunity, Recinos draws deep from the wells of Latinx spirituality and urban experience to provide a vision of hope in the darkness—a vision in which the absence of God in the midst of human suffering is answered by the sacramentality of something as mundane as the Sunday movies.” —The Rev. Dr. Rubén Rosario Rodríguez, professor of Theological Studies, Saint Louis University
“Harold Recinos’ poems make visible the migrants and border-crossers, and the workers on whose labor we depend.  He tackles all the tough subjects—loss, neighborhoods under threat, injustice and senseless violence, death.  He also reminds us to search for what may endure—faith, family, and community.  This book reminded me of all the reasons I love to read poetry and why I need to read more.” —Maria Cristina Garcia, Professor of History and Latino Studies, Cornell University

“These poems help us dare to believe in the God whose promised kingdom is coming on earth, as in heaven, affirming that ‘there is a presence/ on these chilly nights, a Spirit moving// with the certainty that was even before/ time, and I hear news whispered that// life is beaded with grace.’ And they remind us of the promise that America is an experiment in radical homecoming—for all those who dare to trust against the odds that there is a balm in Gilead.” —Mark S. Burrows, poet and author of The Chance of Home, and with Jon M. Sweeney, Meister Eckhart’s Book of Secrets


Product Details
ISBN: 9781640604292
ISBN-10: 1640604294
Publisher: Iron Pen
Publication Date: November 9th, 2021
Pages: 96
Language: English
Series: Paraclete Poetry